Arts news

Salisbury’s Father Willis dismantled for restoration

SALISBURY Cathedral’s famous Father Willis organ, installed in the 19th century, is being dismantled for restoration, the first for 50 years. The original cost of installing the organ was £3,500, a sum that was given by Miss Chafyn Grove. The organ case cost £,1000 to build, and the blowing apparatus an additional £800-1,000. By comparison, the…

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Cathedral’s artistic response to Brexit

SALISBURY Cathedral’s stimulating and varied arts programme continues in February with two artistic responses to the Brexit debut involving poet Lemn Sissay and light artist Mary Branson. Ladders of Light is a new “constitution” for the UK, with words by Lemn Sissay and illuminated ladders by Mary Branson. It will be followed in March by…

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Ferment 2019 at Bristol Old Vic

BRISTOL’s pioneering Ferment Fortnight of new work is back in its home at Bristol Old Vic, running to 2nd February, for an exciting and packed two weeks that ranges from new plays to dance, scratch performances, discussions and readings. Now in its ninth year, the bi-annual celebration of work-in-progress, which is the Old Vic’s artist…

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Robin Hood has his arrows lined up for Salisbury

ROBIN Hood is one of the oldest of the traditional pantomime stories, and is the 2019-2020 choice for Salisbury Playhouse, following the success of this year’s Beauty and the Beast. The show, like Beauty and the previous three pantomimes, is being written by Andrew Pollard, so expectations will be high for another brilliant retelling of…

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National recognition for Artsreach partners

ARTSREACH, Dorset’s rural touring arts charity, and its business supporter Blanchards Bailey had a double celebration when representatives met recently after the launch of the new Artsreach spring programme, and news that solicitors Blanchards Bailey have achieved outstanding national recognition in the latest edition of Legal 500. The award-winning Dorset law firm was mentioned in…

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Ricky Gervais warms up at Bath

HOT off the press: Ricky Gervais is playing a warm-up gig for his new show, Supernature, at the Theatre Royal Bath on Sunday 24th February at 7.30pm. Comedian, actor, singer, director, producer and writer, Ricky Gervais first hit the nation’s collective attention with his appallingly funny creative David Brent in The Office. This became a…

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Sir Cliff is No 1 at the Regent

SIR Cliff Richard, Andre Rieu and Sheridan Smith are all great entertainers with a huge following – but they have another thing in common, satellite screenings of their shows at the Regent Centre at Christchurch have all topped the ratings with Event Cinema. The Regent has just heard from the Event Cinema distributors that it…

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Doing what comes Naturally

BATH’s inventive Natural Theatre Company starts the spring term of its theatre school on Monday 14th January, with a wider range of classes for adults as well as under 18s. A perfect antidote to the Monday blues, the adult theatre school provides an alternative to traditional drama classes, by teaching the trademark comedy style of…

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A millennium milestone for Monie

JON Monie, much-loved star of Bath’s pantomime, has reached an amazing milestone of 1,000 panto performances, marking the achievement on Tuesday 8th January, in his current role as the hapless Smee in Peter Pan. This is Jon’s 17th pantomime season in Bath (his 13th consecutive year) and he has become a favourite with audiences, with…

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Registration open for Shaftesbury Fringe

ONLINE registration for this year’s Shaftesbury Fringe Festival is open. The Fringe, this year from 5th to 7th July, is England’s third largest open performance festival. Sue Allatt (pictured), who chairs the event with Rob Neely, is keen for more local people to take part, as the fame of the event spreads: “We had twice…

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